The 1980s gave us cult shows like Mahabharata, Hum Log andSurabhi — which showcased India’s rich heritage and history with short feature capsules, and anchored by Renuka Shahaneand Siddharth Kak.
Till date, it finds mention in the Limca Book of Records as India’s longest running culture series. Inspired by the show’s quest to acclimatise generations of Indians to its history, Kak established the Surabhi Foundation.
The non-profit organisation has now been granted a five-acre plot in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai to create Living Heritage Centre, a platform to experience Indian culture and history with interactive and entertaining tools. “One of our mottos is to understand the past for the future. Today’s youth are proud to be Indian, but do they know what to be proud of? Is it malls or IPL? To clear the air, we need to talk about heritage and tradition in their language, not just with words, as in school, but by using experiences and digital interaction,” reveals Kak.
An invaluable section of the Centre will be The Surabhi Cultural Archive and Media Learning Centre, which will house over 15,000 hours of audio-visual material. “This virtual library will provide data for students and professionals in an easy-to-absorb format,” says Sapna Kar, the fund raising advisor to the organisation, who has curated Passionately Indian, an auction with 50 pieces that represent India across art, textiles, tourist spots and sport. This will be the first fund-raiser in support of the centre.